Livelihood, Dependence on Forest and Its Degradation: Evidence from Meghalaya

Utpal Kumar De


The linkages between population growth, pattern of livelihood and dependence as well as degradation of forests have long been the subject of debate and concern. It is thus important to investigate to what extent does the growth of population, poverty and livelihood affect the neighbouring forest resources or how are they affected by the degradation of forests. Various assessments have assigned the major responsibility in the loss of forest cover at various places either to population growth or logging, or other commercial resource extraction, including the spread of cattle ranches. The objective of this paper is to unfold the nature of dependence on forest and factors affecting degradation of forest in Meghalaya in an interlinking fashion. The analysis reveals that family size, incidence of poverty, cultivation practice, remoteness of the area and consumption or livelihood pattern have important impact on the extraction of forest resources. Education helps in conservation and sustainable use of the forest resources. Broadly, there is important inter-linkage between population growth, incidence of poverty and degradation of forest in the region.

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Environment and Natural Resources Research   ISSN 1927-0488 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0496 (Online)   Email:

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